I've been through...
- 6 Therapists. It has taken me this many to find one who specializes in OCD! I've told OCD stories to some good ones and one terrible one. (Thankfully I knew that right away, and only went to one session. More on him in another post, I promise!) 6 therapists in 11 years is a lot, but unless my current therapist retires or moves, I'm sticking with her.
- 4 Anti-Anxiety Medications. Given that it's not safe to hop on and off anti-depressants, it can take a long time to find one that works for you when you consider the time it takes to wean yourself off of one. Now I've found one that works for me and I'm willing to tolerate the minor side effects.
- 4 Severe Crises. I use the word crisis because that is the most effective word to describe the intense hold the OCD had on my life in these instances. I literally hit bottom. The first time lead me to learn that I had OCD at age 13. Then came going to college. Then came another crisis during college. The death of my grandfather was my most recent breakdown, which resulted in desperate visits to the doctor's/emergency room, panic attacks, loss of 10 pounds in one week, intolerance to food, 4-5 days of nights without even a few minutes of sleep, and 4 missed days of work.
The crises aside, even when I'm doing well, having OCD would make a great full-time job. But though it might not seem like it pays, consider that the work we do in getting better has lifelong implications. So no matter how many therapists you go through, no matter how many meds you've tried, no matter how many times you've hit bottom, there's still plenty of time to wake up tomorrow and keep trying.